Catalonia’s new parliament on Wednesday elected a pro-secession speaker, virtually guaranteeing that the push for independence for Spain’s northeastern region will continue as its lawmakers prepare to elect a new government. The opening session of the new Catalan assembly came amid looming questions about the role that fugitive and jailed politicians will play within the chamber’s separatist majority and the future regional government. Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium in October dodging a Spanish judicial probe over a foiled secession attempt, wants to be reinstated to his old job. But he faces arrest if he returns to Spain and legal hurdles if he wants to be voted in from abroad by the regional assembly.
Puigdemont’s and other empty seats in the parliament were adorned with a yellow ribbon Wednesday. Four ex-Cabinet members sought by Spain’s Supreme Court are also in Brussels and three more elected lawmakers — including former Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras — are jailed on provisional charges of rebellion or sedition.
Other former Cabinet members and parliamentary officials have been released from jail but remain under investigation.
Full Article: Catalan Parliament Reconvenes, Elects Pro-secession Speaker.